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In Their Own Words

March 24, 1740

Stephens Caught Malcontents in a Lie

William Stephens noted in his journal that the Malcontents - the colonists opposed to the Trustees’ regulations on colonial Georgia - had spread a lie to try to frighten colonists into leaving Georgia :

“…A frightful Story was published this Morning, of the French, arid Indians in their Alliance, having fallen upon the Chicasaws, cut off divers of our English Traders among the Nations, particularly Thomas Andrews, one of the most noted of them; and were going on with a View of farther Mischief, &c. But I had now so long experienced the Use which I had found of these bugbear Tales, that I was resolved to trace it as far as I could, to its first Source; which at length I discovered to be from that Mint of Scandal and Lies, which has for so long Time past created that Uneasiness in many People of this Colony; and who made it their Business still to terrify weak Mines, infusing sad Apprehensions of the Dangers that surrounded us, and sticking at nothing they thought would make the Place odious to the Inhabitants: Insomuch that it appeared evidently, it was a peculiar Pleasure to them, whenever they knew any Desertion of a Family likely to happen; which very probably also was by their Advice and Persuasion. As for the present Story, I could not find any Foundation for it.”

Source: Allen D. Candler, ed. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. IV, Stephens’ Journal 1737-1740, Atlanta, GA, 1906, p. 539.